Along with our peers in the UK and around the world IBT has responded to COVID-19 by prioritising the continued health and well-being of our small core team. Our office is currently closed and the team are temporarily furloughed.
Over recent weeks we have witnessed so many venues, festivals and artistic projects being closed, cancelled or postponed. We feel such empathy for the loss of this creativity and the temporary curtailment of so many livelihoods and ideas. We send out the strongest possible message of solidarity to our friends, partners, artists and colleagues who have been affected by these difficult times.
We find ourselves increasingly inspired by the skills and resilience of our global artistic community and the people of Bristol who have adapted with such speed with mutual support initiatives. Thank you to all the organisations offering support, advice and inspiration and to the individuals, volunteers and key workers caring for us, creating small daily acts of kindness and working to supply the essentials we need.
Despite lockdown IBT has been busy adapting our programme to this emerging new reality and reallocating our resources towards artists and freelance arts-workers wherever we can. We are continuing our We Are Bristol programme bringing communities and artists together to support each other at this time. Working with our partners Up Our Street and Ambition Lawrence Weston and Bristol artist Muneera Pilgrim, we will develop artistic tactics to battle the effects of fear and isolation that so many of us are feeling now.
We are asking what is the role of the artist and arts worker right now? We don’t know the answers yet of course. But at IBT we are busy researching, reading, watching, talking, zoom meeting, preparing the way. We are poised at the start of this challenging new journey and we commit to invest all of our energy, skills, ideas and resources to ensuring that we transform this pandemic into new possibilities, ways of working, creativity and thinking for a changed arts landscape, and a changed world
Covid-19 brings harsh new realities to so many of us in the arts. Small arts organisations face numerous challenges to our survival in these unprecedented times. To enable us to continue to create unusual, radical, life-affirming, artistic experiences into the future we need your support. Please donate to IBT, or if not to us then to one of the other incredible arts organisations that make our region so incredibly special. This is a devastating time for all – and now the arts community needs your support more than ever.
To all our friends, stakeholders, artists and audiences please take care and stay well.
Love from all of us at IBT
NIGHTWALKS WITH TEENAGERS, MAMMALIAN DIVING REFLEX © PAUL BLAKEMORE